Living with Actual Hope

It never fails. Its the same every year. When the Major League Baseball season begins, I start the season with hope. Growing up a Redsox fan, hope was the only thing that fed my fandom for a long time. We didn't have much success until I was in my late 20s. However, it hasn't changed. Last week was baseball's opening day. I began the season with hope that my team would be playing meaningful baseball games well into late October. Although, the reality of the situation is that my hope is never guaranteed. It often fails. As I write this, my hope for the 2021 baseball season is already fading. My Redsox are a lousy 1-3.

Isn't that the case with most situations of hope in this world? I realize I risk sounding like a Debbie Downer, but hope is really never a concrete guarantee. We hope because we desire to see a situation turn out a specific way, but the reality is that it rarely turns out the perfect way we desire. Thus, our hope doesn't bring us a complete joy and contentment. Often, when our hope fails, we're crushed and sometimes respond in destructive ways.

For Christians, it should go without saying that we have a true, confident hope in Jesus Christ. We should understand this, because we've read God's word and we can verbalize that real hope is found in Christ. However, I'm convinced more than ever that most Christians live life without actual hope. 

1 Peter 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

This scripture is a keen reminder that God's hope is living and the world's hope is dead. Christians, we know better, but we're all guilty of searching for hope in things that will fail. An unbelieving world finds our faith in Christ unbelievable when we operate apart from true, living hope. Yet, we do this ALL THE TIME!

Don't believe me?

What was your response to the election? Your response to politics in general?

What's been your response to COVID?

Do you celebrate Jesus' resurrection daily, not just on Easter?

What's your reasons for saving money for retirement?

How much time do you spend praying and reading scripture versus social media?

I could continue to ask questions that would likely poke us all uncomfortably, but I think you get my point. In Jesus, we have an actual living hope and its time that we as Christians truly act like it!

Hope isn't crossing our fingers or wishing upon a star that Jesus is real and Jesus is alive. A genuine living hope knows that Jesus is alive, that He defeated death, that our sin has been washed away by His performance on the cross, that eternity with God awaits those in Christ after death, and that nothing in this world can pluck us from the hand of Jesus.

If this is the true scope of our hope, why would we spend another minute worrying, being anxious, or trying to fight for other things that won't bring us real hope? 

Life on earth is too short to waste being hopeless. More than ever, people are living in darkness, in need of a living hope. A lost world needs Christians to point the way to a living hope. The lost world needs to see it lived out in our lives. 

Every Easter, I'm reminded of the living hope we have through Jesus Christ. I don't want to wait again until next Easter to be reminded of living hope. Daily my life should dwell on living hope. That living hope in me should be so vibrant that a lost and clueless world should beg me to tell them how they too can live in this hope!

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